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Martin Bashir

News/Business. Journalist Martin Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.

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Us 21, Sandy 8, America 7, Allstate 5, Dennis 5, Paul Ryan 5, Nra 4, Obama 4, Krystal 4, Williamsburg 4, Jonathan 3, Geico 3, Newtown 3, Washington 3, Dyson 3, Ameritrade 3, Lunesta 3, Sandy Hook 3, Vidal Sassoon 3, Kristen 2,
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  MSNBC    Martin Bashir    News/Business. Journalist Martin  
   Bashir uncovers breaking news stories. New.  

    January 16, 2013
    1:00 - 2:00pm PST  

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i remember when he had a heart attack, it made me worry about my own dad having a heart attack. the father from punky brewster. the main thing i remember about him, punky! he would talk that like. tom bosley the father from "happy days." he ran the hardware store. but if you got in trouble, he could play a mean game of poker and get you out of trouble. who doesn't want a father like that? jason siever from "growing pains." there was one where he said something about his son ben. it stuck with me. if i'm a father, i nifr want to be like that. graham who didn't know how to deal with seven daughters. they all had an impact on me. but mr. drumond was always my favorite. i'm going to miss him. what it means is i kind of miss being a kid. that's it for "the cycle" today. martin bashir, you would have been one of my favorite sitcom
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fathers too. it's all yours. >> i was just thinking impressional 8-year-old steve kornacki. as lovable then as he is now. thank you so much. good afternoon. it's wednesday, january the 16th. and as the president offered his proposals in response to that massacre at sandy hook, he said this. this is how we will be judged. >> this is our first task as a society. keeping our children safe. in the month since 20 precious children and six brave adults were violently taken from us as sandy hook elementary, more than 900 of our fellow americans have reportedly died at the end of a gun. if parents and teachers, police officers and pastors, if hunters and sportsmen, if responsible gun owners, if americans of every background stand up and say enough. we've suffered too much pain and
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care too much about our children to allow this to continue, change will come. for all the americans who are counting on us to keep them safe from harm, let's do the right thing. let's do the right thing for them and for this country that we love so much. thank you. ♪ today the president made good on a promise he gave after that horrific shooting at sandy hook elementary school. today he took bold action proposing the most sweeping gun safety measures in generations. the president was joined midday at the white house by vice president joe biden and some of the families of those 20 children and six staff members who were massacred at sandy hook elementary school. and he insisted that their loss
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will not go unheeded for a misguided notion of freedom. >> along with our freedom to live our lives as we will comes an obligation to allow others to do the same. when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now. >> backed by children who wrote moving letters to him urging action after the newtown tragedy, the president signed 23 executive actions including steps to strengthen the existing background check system as well as proposals to improve mental health and school safety programs. he also called on congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. and make no mistake, the president knows this will not be easy. >> this will be difficult. there will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of a
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tyrannical assault on liberty. the only way we will be able to change is if their audience, their constituents, their membership says this time must be different. >> indeed. the hysteria began right on cue. radio host todd barnes of fox news and commentary tweeted freedom ends, tyranny begins. and there was plenty more where that came from. with the nra releasing a preemptive ad accusing the president of elite hypocrisy on gun safety and using the president's daughters to make their point. >> are the president's kids more important than yours? then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their schools? mr. obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he's just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security. >> following the president's
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announcement, they released a statement and i'm quoting. we look forward to working with congress on a bipartisan basis to find real solutions to protecting america's most valuable asset, our children. attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation. no, of course. more guns are always the only answer for the nra. joining us now is kristen welker live at the white house. and kristen, we're getting news that the president and the vice president will girn traveling outside of washington to engage the public on the gun issue. what are you hearing? >> that's absolutely right, martin. according to a white house official, you can expect the president and the vice president to separately get out of d.c., hit the road, talk to the american people to try to push for the proposals that they unveiled today. this is, of course, a tactic that the white house has employed in the past. you've seen the president do this during the payroll tax cut
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fight, during the student loan fight. of course most recently during the debate over the fiscal cliff. the white house believes this is an effective way to engage the public and really to get them to ramp up the pressure on congress. you heard president obama say that this is really going to be up to the american people, that the american people will have to demand the types of change that he called for a little bit earlier on today. now, as you just talked about, this is still a very divisive issue. the measures that the president is calling for, the bans of assault weapons. the universal background checks. they're going to be tough to get through congress and there's still a fair amount of division, so he believes this is one way to really pressure congress to act. if you look at the latest polls, martin, 55% of americans do favor some of these stiffer gun measures. and only 44% oppose them. so the president is going to try to tap into some of those sentiments to pressure congress.
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it has been tough. to get the measures passed in 1994 they passed be aslim measure. getting them passed a going to be a challenge. >> i have to ask you, kristen, if the white house has responded to that disgraceful and contemptible advertisement that dragged the president's children into the issue of gun violence. >> they have, martin. a little while ago i got a reaction from white house press secretary jay carney. i will read it to you. he said quote, most americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight. but to make the safety of the president's children the subject of an attack ad is repugnant and cowardly. those are strong words coming from jay carney. i've been covering this white house for quite a while. i can say that's some of the angriest language i have heard him use. when you ask the nra about this, they're saying we're not making this act just the president's kids, but all kids. a lot of people coming down hard
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on that ad this afternoon. >> thank you so much. i want to bring in our panel now. with us from washington, democratic strategist julian epstein, former counsel to the judiciary committee. and stephen barton, a survivor of the aurora shooting. now working with mayors against guns. you're there lobbying congress. and as an individual who's been shot in the neck in that mass shooting in aurora, what's your reaction to the president's proposals today? >> you know, i've been hardened by what the president and vice president had to say today. you know, they essentially endorsed what mayors against illegal guns has been working for for many years now. i mean, on a personal level i'm proud to see my president take such a strong stance for gun violence prevention. but also professionally. i mean, i'm really proud of everything that the gun violence prevention organizations have done to get us to this point.
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>> and yet, stephen, you're standing in a place that could stand between any legislative change and the application of the things that the president is recommending. are you hopeful? >> oh, i'm absolutely hopeful. i had the honor this morning of traveling and meeting some families from newtown. and i really just want to remind people what exactly is at stake. i mean, a month ago 26 people were brutally murdered. every day 33 americans are murdered with guns. it's not time for inaction. to do nothing in the face of such suffering would be utter failure on the part of this congress. >> indeed, it would be. julian, all sides of the issue of gun violence were asking for a comprehensive approach that didn't just address weapons, but also law enforcement, mental health, background checks, education. isn't that exactly what the president and the vice president have delivered today?
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>> that's right. the public supports virtually all measures except for putting armed security in schools. that's the one thing that doesn't poll well. and i think that's the point. the politics of this have changed dramatically, martin. i was on the floor in 1994 when we passed the assault weapons ban on the house floor. i had to manage the effort for the democrats in 1998. and the politics of this have changed dramatically since newtown. things are just no longer the way they were before newtown. a universal background check right now is about an 80/20 issue. the issue of clips, large capacity magazines and gun registration is a 70/30 issue. assault weapons are a 60/40 issue. the president senses that. the stage craft today with the children behind the president was superb. in addition to the stats that i just mentioned, the number of people killed every day. we've had 83 children killed since the newtown massacre. >> yes. >> and so i think the key here that the white house recognizes
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is that all of this polling data i just mentioned is true for many republican districts as well. and what i think you'll see the white house doing and what they ought to do is choose 30 to 40 republican districts where you can build large coalitions of teachers, of law enforcement, of parents and every time you see this -- a child killed by a handgun or other massacre, you go to the districts and say these are the members who are against the will of their own constituents. protecting the blood money of gun manufacturers. and these are the people we can't get to vote for common sense measures. you begin to break them, and then you essentially have a working majority inside the house of representatives. and that's a strategy i think can work. >> stephen, the president has proposed such a comprehensive approach because he has in mind not just the mass shootings that always grab our attention and that you yourself were a victim of, but also the sad routines of shootings that occur on a daily basis. as he referred to his home city of chicago.
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>> yeah, absolutely. i have this platform to speak about this issue because unfortunately i was a part of one of those mass shootings, but there are so many communities and families effected every day by this issue and they don't have a voice. i commend the president once again for taking a stand. you know, for his own community in chicago, but for communities across the country. and really supporting measures that as has been said so many times before are also supported by a majority of the american people. >> indeed. and a majority of the nra in some cases. julian, as we were watching the president, so was that p palpatating rush limbaugh. here he is. >> i've been watching the children as human shields show at the white house. readings and letters from the
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kids. got to do what the kids want. got to answer all their letters to santa claus. >> it takes some kind of individual, possibly, non-human to mock parents who've experienced the murder of their children at an elementary school. doesn't it? >> yeah. it's really a disgusting statement. and that combined with the ad going after the president's children, the ridiculous statements that were made about slavery and martin luther king. what this is doing is this is isolating the advocates of the gun manufacturers into an increasingly small minority. these kind of statements were very good for the majority of us that want to see some common sense measures. and, you know, the most absurd statement that these advocates, these gun manufacturer advocates say is this is an encroachment on the second amendment. let's be clear for the viewers here. there's been one case in the last hundred years, the heller case that there was an individual right to bear a hand gunn inside your home.
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that's the extent to which the supreme court ever recognized the second amendment right. even in that case justice scalia said things like assault weapons, background checks, high-capacity magazines are totally on the table. so those gun nuts that are suggesting that this ask an encroachment on the second amendment have no idea what the second amendment says and have never read the only case that has ever held that there is an individual right to bear a hand gunn inside the home. and as i've said before, it's been about 500 challenges before the federal courts and the state courts on gun restrictions that exist at the state and local level and virtually none of them have succeeded. the gun laws have all been upheld. so the arguments on the policy are absurd that these gun nuts are making. and the tactics that they're using are only isolating them to an increasingly small and really distasteful minority. >> julian epstein, stephen barton. thank you both so much. >> thank you. do stay with us. much more ahead.
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what the nra once was, it no longer is. this extremism is so frightening. and just over the line. ♪ so you say men are superior drivers? yeah. then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] ...safe driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. ok. [ voice of dennis ] silence. are you in good hands? i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ indistinct shouting ] [ male announcer ] time and sales data. split-second stats.
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. i have no illusions about what we're up against or how hard the task is in front of us. but i also have never seen the nation's conscience so shaken by what happened at sandy hook. >> that was vice president joe biden earlier today as he introduced the president who unveiled the most ambitious series of gun safety policies in generations. and while the president immediately signed no less than 23 executive orders, he made it
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clear that congress needs to act on a series of measures that he believes will reduce gun violence in the future. joining us now is democratic congresswoman debbie wasserman shultz. good afternoon. >> great to be with you. >> as one who has cared for a best friend, congresswoman gabby giffords, who was shot in the head what's your reaction to what the president has signed and is proposing? >> well, i'm so thankful and appreciative as a friend of someone who was a gun violence victim and as a mom who felt bone-crushing sadness when i learned of the newtown tragedy. when you send your children off to school every day, in america we fully expect that those schools are safe havens. ones in which you expect that your children are going to be able to come home safely to you at the end of the day.
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and as the president said today so aptly, weapons that we used in the theater of war should not be able to be used in a movie theater. and to oppose comprehensive proposals to make sure that we have universal background checks so that no one who shouldn't have a gun can't get one, to make sure they're not accessible to anyone. to make sure that high-capacity magazines are not available. so we can make it less likely you can mow down a series of individuals in rapid succession. and to make sure that we can provide more funding for the school resource officers and generally make it less likely that we have to go through these mass violence, mass gun violence tragedies ever again. >> and yet, congresswoman, if anyone knows how difficult it is to get congress to pass legislation, it is this president. and he made the point that
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members could either worry about the nra or the parents of children who just want their children to go to school. take a listen. >> what's more important? doing whatever it takes to get an "a" grade from the gun lobby that funds their campaigns? or giving parents some peace of mind when they drop their child off for first grade. >> congresswoman, this is a national moment. but will republicans seize or oppose any kind of change? >> i think that's going to depend as the president said on the american people. on the people in their districts. and it's also going to depend on whether these republican members have the courage to stand up to the nra. to be on the right side of history. to look objectively at this tragedy and the tragedies that happened in america too often and say to themselves you know
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what? i can be a supporter of the second amendment. yet also make sure that we reduce the senseless gun violence that allows deranged individuals to mow down mass numbers of people. >> but congresswoman, a large number of -- but congresswoman, a large number of representatives receive large sums of money from the nra. given the nature of that disgraceful advertisement which drags the president's children into this debate, don't you think it's about time that some of these congress men and women separated themselves completely from this organization? >> of course. and you know what? anything worth doing which -- and making sure that we can reduce gun violence and make these tragedies less likely is absolutely worth doing is going to require tremendous effort. but i have confidence in this president's ability to rally the american people.
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people said that we were never going to be able to pass health care reform. and the president took his case to the american people and now we have the affordable care act, obama care. people also said there was no way this president was going to get re-elected. but he took his case to the america people and presented two paths and two visions and they chose president obama's path and president obama's vision. president obama's on the right side of history here. he's on the right side of how to keep our children and americans safe. and the nra is on the side of gun manufacturers and selling as many guns and making sure that we don't do anything to make progress on this really devastating tragedy that we absolutely have to make sure we can address. >> congresswoman debbie wasserman shultz, as always, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. coming up, what are boehner and the boys saying about guns at their williamsburg retreat? stay with us. >> in the month since 20
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precious children and 6 brave adults were violently taken from us at sandy hook elementary, more than 900 of our fellow americans have reportedly died at the end of a gun. 900. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] don't just reject convention. drown it out. introducing the all-new 2013 lexus ls f sport. an entirely new pursuit.
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or your money back. a purpose-driven president states his case as hysteria reaches a boiling point on the right. here are today's top lines. guns do kill people. >> our first task as a society, keeping our children safe. >> our imperial president will unveil up to 19 executive orders. >> since 20 precious children and 6 brave adults were violently taken from us as sandy hook elementary, more than 900 have ratheredly died at the end of the gun. >> the wet dream plan for eliminating guns. >> some smart letters from smart young people. >> this is the ultimate example of exploiting and politicizing a tragedy. >> the children as human shields show. >> using these kids as props. >> got to answer all their letters to santa claus. >> maybe he can apologize for
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burdening them with millions of dollars of debt. >> reminds me of saddam hussein with the kids. >> an ad talking about the president's daughters? >> he's just another elitist hypocrite. >> i think those people are sick. >> the ad is spot on. >> what's more important? an "a" grade from the gun lobby or giving parents peace of mind. >> the president seems to be convinced that the american people don't need to be able to protect themselves. >> pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical war on liberty. >> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> we want all tools including that impeachment. >> you've got to be on drugs. >> congress, too, must act. and act soon. >> these gun control measures are against the spirit of liberty. >> if there's even one life to be saved, then we've got an
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obligation to try. >> 300 million guns on the street right now. the bad guys are going to find them. >> this will not happen until the american people is behind it. let's sign these orders. >> let's get right to it. joining me is krystal ball, co-host of "the cycle" and jonathan capehart of "the washington post." on the same day the president made his announcement, the republicans in the house are leaving the capitol and they're off to their annual retreat at a resort near williamsburg. which i guess is the ideal place to be if you think king george is going to be resurrected and steal your guns. >> you're behind that, aren't you? >> i have some involvement. >> i have to say, caveat, williamsburg, virginia, is in the congressional district that i ran to represent. it is a lovely place. >> i'm sure. >> but, you know, it's so funny. because it seems like no matter how much we talk about how out of touch the republicans are, how they're living in their own
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world, how they aren't seeing the facts and the data and what's going on. they just continue to play to the far right base. they seem to not be able to come to grips with the fact that the entire nation was traumatized by this tragedy. is traumatized. absolutely. that they want some concrete action. and the president in his announcement today laid out a lot of measures, some of them deal with guns. some of them deal with mental health. something that republicans claim to want to deal with. so having more armed guards in schools, smk that the nra claims to want. but there seems to be no willingness to meet him anywhere on any of this. >> jonathan, in all seriousness, there are republicans who are trying to paint the president's use of executive orzers against gun violence as a power grab. he's one. senator rand paul of kentucky. here he is. >> i'm against having a king.
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i think having a monarch is what we thought the american revolution over. we will fight tooth and nail and i promise you will will be no rock left unturned as far as trying to stop him from usurping the constitution. >> jonathan, there will be no rock left unturned. does that mean 1776 is about to recommence? or is he describing a thermonuclear explosion? >> well, maybe in senator paul's mind, i don't know. but here we have a constitutional law professor as president of the united states who is surrounded by advisers who surround him what he can and cannot do as president of the united states who presents 23 executive order actions that have been determined that he can do on his own plus four legislative actions that congress must pass in order for them to come to pass. and rand paul thinks that the president is trying to act like a king, like a monarch? he's bananas. >> right. that's a good assessment.
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krystal, before they left for their little holiday, house republicans tried to make it sound as though the president isn't really serious about passing laws to curb gun violence. in the words of representative devon nunez, i think all this is the president -- get this -- trying to do this for the far left. it's a political exercise for them. well, maybe he'd like to explain this from the president. take a listen. >> if there's even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved. then we've got an only to try. >> i don't think there is any question in any reasonable person's mind that this is something the president cares about and really wants to see action on. now, he knows the political realities as much as any of us do with having republicans in the house. he also knows that working directly with those republicans and trying to appease them is never going to work. so he's doing exactly the smart
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thing for taking steps to actually see action. which is taking the case to the people. saying this is what we need to do. let's have a national conversation about it. because if he goes directly to the house republicans, forget it. >> there you go. jonathan, it's been reported that the republican retreat will feature a discussion panel on quote, successful communication with minorities and women. so let's have a quick look at the distinguished gop lawmakers who will be sitting on the panel. you've got adam kinziger and scott rigell and frank wolf. this sounds like a committee darrell issa would be very proud of. >> come on. what could they possibly say that would be of any benefit to the republican party? >> maybe stick tim scott on the panel or something. >> sure. if he wants to be on the panel. or how about marco rubio?
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or how about senator cruz from texas? the idea that you're going to have three white men come up with strategies to appeal to people of color and women to help save the republican party, i repeat what i said before, it's bananas. >> okay. that's the second bananas. krystal, there are some other details that are leaking out about their itinerary and perhaps i should say oozing out. for instance, patrick doyle, the ceo of dominos pizza is giving a presentation on quote, turning it around. that sounds apt for this audience. >> that's a smart booking. that makes sense. >> you think he makes sense? >> having panels about how to talk to minorities and women led by white men is not the best turnaround. one thing that has been amazing coming out of the republican party is rather than look at the things they've been saying and promoting, they're still going down the path of how can we rig
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the electoral process to our benefit with reince priebus and others. >> that's what they're going to be talking about. >> saying we'll change the way they're worded to benefit us. rather than deal with the demographic problems. instead try to rig the game again. >> of course. these guys can listen to all the motivation speaker in the world, will it ever change the fact they're worried about an english king who died 200 years ago than they are about weapons of war flooding out streets? i mean, that's the issue today. what do you think? >> well, look. they are in their own world as i think you said it or krystal said it about them going to williamsburg. they're in their own little cocoon. and if they don't realize sooner rather than later, they are leaving votes on the table. there are african-americans, latinos, gays and lesbians, women who would vote for the republican party if they weren't so extreme. i don't understand how the republican party cannot see that
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and won't take the necessary actions to make themselves once again a viable, national governing party. >> i haven't seen the polling on this, but i'm pretty sure concerns over a new monarchy are not topping the list for average americans right now. >> thank you, both. next, paul ryan says no to the people devastated by hurricane sandy. what a guy. stay with us. >> if the nra's got a list that obama for america has a bigger list. and it is time to get activated. ♪ [ male announcer ] when these come together, and these come together, one thing you can depend on is that these will come together. delicious and wholesome. some combinations were just meant to be. tomato soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. is efficiently absorbed in small continuous amounts.
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for putting together these care packages. >> that was paul ryan exactly one week before election day. he and mitt romney had very publicly put aside politics urging people to come together and do whatever it takes to help the victims of hurricane sandy. and then they lost the election. which may explain why today mr. ryan is among 179 republicans who voted no on sandy relief. the second such vote he's made in as many weeks. joining us now is professor michael eric dyson who is also an msnbc political analyst. professor dyson, i want to hear your views of paul ryan in a moment, but first, you heard the president's proposals for violence -- action on gun violence. and he said this is our first task, to keep our children safe. this is how we will be judged. but although he believes that,
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sir, how does he persuade congress that the same is true for them? >> well, you know, first of all it was a heroic gesture and a rightful gesture made by the highest political office in the land to suggest that our children are our most precious commodity and our precious future. and he wants congress to act. he also asked the american people to put pressure on congress. so he understood that without the will of the american people being exercised to articulate to congress the necessity of passing this kind of legislation, he knows that it will be an empty promise. so i think he's rightfully trying to circle the wagons to suggest to the republicans that this is an american thing. let's put politics aside. not democratic or republican. let's talk about what's humane. and in that sense, i think that he encourages america to see the best of our political traditions. and our politicians as servants of the greater will for good and not their own petty, narrow
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ideological interests. >> speaking of petty and narrow individuals, ryan, let's go back to paul ryan. why are he and so many other republicans only opposed to aid when it doesn't benefit them? because paul ryan voted for flood insurance for his district, for instance, and your publication today has a story of how tim huelskanp's won't allow aid to people sleeping in their car in new jersey. >> the republican party is a regional party mostly the south and somewhat in the midwest. and they don't like the northeast. you know, pete king kind of -- he said as much. he told republicans stay out of the northeast. he told donors who live in new york, stop giving to republicans. you know, that's more or less
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what is driving this. >> dyson, i thought to a republican raising taxes was the most distasteful thing a person could do, yet almost twice as many house republicans voted for the fiscal cliff deal as did aid for aides of hurricane sandy. does that mean that helping the needy is twice as bad as raising taxes in their collective minds? >> absolutely. that's the mathematics of misery for the rest of us. and the calculation of the republicans they would rather cut their noses off to spite their faces. and i think this kind of geographical determination of who we like and don't like is antiquated but is certainly respects these bitter alliances and divisions in this country. and you would have thought that republicans would vote for aid
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packages. not only the hypocrisy of huelskamp. but this is about the american people being served. what is the purpose of politics and politicians? to deliver critical resources in a time of need -- >> but professor dyson, this is a man who wanted to be vice president of the entire nation. >> absolutely. and you have to have a wide view, not just a regional one. you've got to have a wide view. but politicians at their base are about serving the american people and serving the interests of those who are most vulnerable and they failed on both accounts today. >> absolutely. ryan, there was one republican who changed his mind on sandy aid voting yes this time around. after voting no. that's steven polazzo of mississippi. he said after touring the area it reminded him of how katrina hurt the district that he now represents. i guess some of those 179 republicans might actually have benefitted from seeing the
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damage for themselves before they voted. >> yeah. they have an idea of what they think the northeast is. it goes back to age old countryside versus city rivalry. so they think everything is manhattan. when they actually -- when he actually toured it and saw these are americans just like people in mississippi that they also need help. and, you know, the republicans would be wise to remember they're on the winning end of a very good deal here. if the federal government just vanished, the northeast would become richer and the south would become poorer. because there is a large transfer of wealth in tax dollars from the north down to the south. so why they would want to mess with that arrangement is beyond me. >> professor michael eric dyson and ryan grim whose office enjoys watching our broadcast even as he speaks to us, thanks very much. much more ahead. but first sue herrera has the
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market wrap. >> good afternoon. here's a look how today wall street finished the trading session. it snapped a winning streak. and the dow finishes the trading session on the downside by about 24 points or so. the standard & poor's fractionally higher by a quarter of a point. and the nasdaq up about seven points on the trading session. that's it from cnbc. we are first in business worldwide. martin is back after a very quick break. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] this is karen and jeremiah. they don't know it yet, but they're gonna fall in love, get married, have a couple of kids, [ children laughing ] move to the country, and live a long, happy life together where they almost never fight about money. [ dog barks ] because right after they get married, they'll find some retirement people who are paid on salary, not commission. they'll get straightforward guidance and be able to focus on other things, like each other, which isn't rocket science.
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towards the end of an already powerful news conference today, the president toll the story of 7-year-old grace macdonald, one of 20 children killed in newtown. he said her parents who were in attention today had told him how she wanted to become a painter. they even game the president one of her works.
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he keeps that in his private study to this day so he always remembers. >> every time i look at that painting i think about grace. and i think about the life she lived and the life that lay ahead of her. and how when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now. for grace. >> joining us now is democratic congressman joe courtney of connecticut. good afternoon, sir. >> good afternoon, martin. >> let me read a statement by one of your gop colleagues renee chalmers. president obama is once again exploiting a tragedy for political gain and eroding our constitutional rights for the sake of an extreme liberal agenda. could you explain the thought process of your colleagues after what the president said today? >> well, they're obviously looking at the hysterical reaction of special interest groups. not actually looking at the
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executive order which for example says we're going to crack down on people who lie on background checks. 10,000 people got caught lying last year in their brady background checks and only 44 were prosecuted. this order says you know what? we're going to step up enforcement of that. if anything thinks that's eroding people's constitutional rights saying we're going to prosecute people for vigorously for breaking laws then they are engaged in a dialogue that does not have any bearing on reality. what president obama did was keep his solemn promise that he made to the people in that room 30 days ago. which he said he was going to change things. and good for him. >> the superintendent of newtown schools gave powerful testimony about what happened on december 14th. here's just a sample, sir. take a listen. >> ann murray murphy was the educational assistant for a young boy with some special needs. and she died trying to shield
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him. as was the case of rachel davino, a therapist. none of these brave women were trained in combat. they were elementary school educators dedicated to educating their young children. so their first response when confronted by this terror was to protect their children. >> mr. courtney, i'd like to think republicans can't ignore that kind of testimony, but 179 of them just ignored the victims of hurricane sandy. how do you get a few good republicans to help pass legislation that will make this country safer? >> well, clearly what happened with sandy and frankly what happened with every sort of other sort of flash point over the last two years is that president obama engaged public opinion. he did it with student loans, he did it with hurricane sandy, he did it with the fiscal cliff. they obviously originated measures in the senate. because the house right now because of that dysfunctional
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caucus, the republican caucus is incapable of originating anything that has a prayer of becoming law. and that we used that process to basically shake those votes loose. of those individuals who again, i have talked to numbers of republicans privately in the wake of newtown who care about this. you know, there really are people on the other side of my aisle who i think we can work with this on this. and again, common sense measures about making existing laws work which is essentially what the president did today with his executive orders. and looking at orders that those in my district says they can support. limiting the size of clips, strengthening the background check system. these are measures from my own experience they believe and would support. >> thank you. and thank you also for your service to that community. >> thank you, martin. and we'll be right back. or , yet many of us don't meet our daily protein needs? that's why there's boost® high protein nutritional drink.
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